Election violence: Banks shut down operations in parts of Lagos

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Following activities of some hoodlums in some parts of Lagos, banks and other financial houses shut down operations on Monday to avoid being cut in the violence that erupted over the 2023 presidential election in the state.

Blueprint gathered that immediately the results were officially announced, some hoodlums allegedly took to the streets, especially Broad Street and Mandilas Market on the Island and some parts of Agege, attacking innocent people.

Peter Obi, the candidate of the Labour Party (LP), was declared the winner in Lagos — a state which has always been a stronghold of Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In the final results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Obi of the Labour party LP garnered 582,454 against Tinubu’s (APC) 572,606.

A security man at one of the banks visited by this reporter, the Zenith Bank branch on Ogunnusi road in Grammar School area of Lagos, said they have been instructed to shut down operations from 1.pm.

A senior official at another bank, who declined to be named, confirmed that some of the bank’s branches in the Lekki area of Lagos had been shut down too pending when peace was restored.

The source said, “They opened but were asked to shut down. Non-essential staff have been ordered to resume remote work mode.”

The source further stated that the closure of some of the banks had become necessary following a security alert that hoodlums are planning to attack supporters of Peter Obi, the LP presidential candidate.

In a similar development, FirstBank, also directed some of its branches not to open in some areas until further direction is communicated.

A source, who confirmed the development said some of the bank’s branches deemed vulnerable to violent demonstrations had been directed to shut down operations, while other branches that are in a peaceful environment have been directed to close early.

Meanwhile, in a statement released Monday by the Presidential Campaign Council signed by Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, Tinubu expressed serious concern over reports of violence in parts of the state especially reported attacks on some traders of Igbo origin.

The former Lagos State Governor condemned any form of violence against people of any ethnic group in Lagos.

“The fact that the APC narrowly lost Lagos State to another party should not be the reason for violence. As a democrat, you win some, you lose some. We must allow the process to continue unhindered across the country while we maintain peace and decorum,” the statement said.

Similarly, the governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu urged all Lagosian to go about their businesses without any fear.

“Let us remain calm. All will be well. We are a peaceful people and so we shall remain,” he added.

Meanwhile at the time of compiling this report, normalcy has returned to areas affected by fracas with policemen stationed at strategic points.

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